Dion Phaneuf drops first open-ice bomb of season on Brendan Guhle


The Toronto Maple Leafs are losing 3-0 to the Buffalo Sabres after forty minutes, and that’s not good. Jack Eichel scored a beautiful shorthanded goal, and that’s terrifying to think about for the next decade and change. But you know what was good? Watching Dion Phaneuf take a run at somebody’s proverbial life for the first time in 2015/16.

Alternate Angle / Alternate Angle 2

Brendan Guhle is a defenceman who hopes to have a similar career trajectory as Phaneuf. Also born in Alberta and developed in the WHL, Guhle was drafted 51st overall in this year’s draft and is attempting to make the Sabres as an eighteen-year-old. He’s been rather impressive thus far, but this hit shows that he needs to become a bit more aware of his surroundings before he can play in the NHL full-time.

As for Dion, it’s nice to see him showing his physical side, particularly when he uses a burst of speed to deliver an open-ice check. They’re entertaining to see, and if he can be that quick consistently this season, he may have his best year in quite some time. While we cross our fingers, I handpicked some of my favourite open-ice checks since the Leafs acquired him from the Flames in 2010.

Nicolas Deslauriers challenged Phaneuf to a fight immediately after the play, but the refs stopped it from happening, knowing that not every check required fisticuffs. Deslauriers received a two-minute roughing penalty.

Dion’s Greatest Hits (In Toronto)

5. That time he effortlessly stood up Patrik Hornqvist (November 2014)

4. That time he made everyone forget about a blowout by blowing up Artem Anisimov (November 2013)

3. That time he forgot to stop play so he could stop TJ Oshie in his tracks (March 2015)

2. That time he sent Stephane Da Costa back to France (October 2011)

1. That time he (sadly) literally ended Michael Sauer’s career (December 2011)

  • giproc

    Wiped out an 18 year old in preseason? Sometimes I question Phaneuf’s choice of targets.

    Obviously Guhle needs to learn to keep his head up, but I just don’t see the point of the hit in a meaningless game after the Leafs had been outskated and outclassed until the time of the hit.

    The Leafs are going to have a hard enough time protecting and supporting each other without Phaneuf’s infrequent and random hits.

  • giproc

    ugh can the nhl start penalizing guys for fighting after a clean hit. so annoying. would it kill someone on the leafs to defend their teammate and captain?! I’m sick of seeing no one help out their own captain. they don’t need to fight. just step in and let them know it’s unacceptable to attack their captain.